How was Your 4th?

Ours was fantastic. I was a little concerned that this 4th would be a bit of a letdown, because for years the Fam has gathered down at my brother’s house for a huge bash which includes a full Jazz Band playing a two hour set on the lawn, swimming in the lake and eating copious amounts of ribs, burgers, and chicken, plus a jillion guests and a huge fireworks show courtesy of the neighbors. My brother, understandably, decided enough was enough after a decade and so announced no Big Party this year.

So we had a small gathering at Chez Shea with a few friends and our kids, daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law to be, and, of course, Lucy the Cuteness. Quite miraculously, as if in answer to prayer, the sun suddenly came out after what seems like weeks of grey chill and it was beautiful: that wonderful combination of a cloudless blue sky and yet the temperature was probably never above 72–perfect for my fair-skinned Celtic bride. We ate the requisite burgers, set up the croquet game which we never got around to playing, pulled out the squirt guns and the brohirrim nailed each other (and Dad) repeatedly and the Cuteness, had a wonderful time in the pool and with the squirt technology.

Finally, as the shadows lengthened, we went in the house to warm up a bit and dry off, I took a bit of a nap, and then Tasha took the Cuteness home to be and celebrated American patriotism by watching English television such as Dr. Who while Luke came with Jan, Pete, Sean and I and we went down to the Edmonds Ferry Dock (about 10 minutes from our house) where we strolled on the beach and watched fireworks going off all the way around the Sound from Edmonds, over to the south end of Whidbey Island, and out on the Kitsap Peninsula across the sound, all while the sun was setting leaving a gorgeous afterglow and a gigantic full moon was rising red in the East.

We then walked on the Ferry and sailed from Edmonds to Kingston over on the peninsula and watched the giant Edmonds Fireworks Show from the boat as she sailed away–best seats in the house. We could also see the Lynnwood display up north as well as the Kingston display. The air was salt, the breeze was cool but not too cold. We rode over to Kingston–about a half hour crossing–got off the boat briefly, then got back on with about a thousand foot passengers who were leaving Kington, as well as enough cars to completely pack the boat. Then back across to Edmonds under a perfect starry night. Saw the Dipper and Cassieopia, and I’m pretty sure I saw Antares low in the West. Then we walked back to the car, with Peter singing snatches of happy tunes about America and such. I was with people I love, in the place I love best in all the world. What a great country! Thanks be to God.

So how was your 4th?

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  • ds

    “Finally, as the shadows lengthened, we went in the house to warm up a bit…”

    YOU SON OF A BITCH. (Lives in Chicago, high was 103.)

    • I really shouldn’t, but oh well: LMAO!! (Sean, from Springfield, Ill., where the high was about that hot too.)

    • Mark Shea

      I sense a certain amount of tension in your words. I want to be present to you in the non-judgmental, affirming-you-in-your-okayness way we have out here in temperate, cool, pleasant Seattle. Let me just settle in with a cup of warm tea and put on a light sweater and I would like to urge you to get in touch with your true feelings. You are among friends here and no one will judge you if you feel you need to vent. You’re good enough. You’re smart enough, And, gosh darn it, people like you!

  • Nate

    Lazy and relaxing here in Queens, NY. Involved baseball on the telly, grilled meats, and chasing around the little ones. In the evening, took a walk with the fam around the hood. Lots of people out and about and sitting on their steps. The smell of grilled meats in the air.
    Saw lots of fireworks going off over the East River in the distance. Not sure if they were official or just part of some impromptu display by folks in Long Island City. Rowdy youth types in my own hood were on top of apartment complexes and row houses, letting off fireworks that were probably too big and loud for our densely populated ‘hood…but eh, it’s the fourth. No harm no foul. Nice, relaxing day with the fam.

  • Steve P

    Well, though I wouldn’t put it quite as crassly as above, it was indeed the hottest Independence Day that I can remember. We skipped the wonderful community fireworks just to remain indoors or at least close to a/c. When I was miserable, I tried to remember to pray for those who didn’t have that sort of relief available… I’m pretty spoiled, overall, and I just have to remember to be grateful for that, as well, I suppose.

  • Confederate Papist

    We were invited to a childhood friend’s house north of Tampa and we enjoyed the pool, kids, food galore and catching up. My friend’s parents were there, they were always the greatest, especially their mom…any woman with a old time Southern accent is an angel on earth, and this lady is definitely one of them. We also witness a very nice amateur fireworks show, compliments of my friend’s neighbours. Having just commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Tampa, it was very compelling.
    I thoroughly enjoyed it, and my wife and son did too. My daughter, who spent time with her boyfriend and his grandmother (another old time Southern lady = angel on earth), was missed, but we must start to get used to it as we all go through this when our kiddies grow up, as you know too well yourself Mark.

  • Ellen

    It was so hot we didn’t do anything, but pray for rain. We have had the worst heat wave here in a long time. It’s depressing me.

  • Qualis Rex

    I’m just up the coast from you, and yeah…this was one of the coldest July 4ths I’ve ever experienced. But all in good fun. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Julia

    We woke up to rain and unseasonable cool (93 for a high), which is a blessing in Arizona.

    We had friend’s over for a BBQ, and my baby boy learned how to give his mommy kisses.

    A foretaste of heaven, it was.

  • I spent the hottest part of the afternoon basking in the cool air conditioning of our house while the Mrs. took my two little Brohirrim to the pool. At 100+ degrees, it was the hottest Fourth of July I can remember. After they got home I perked up, lit the grill, and fixed supper for all of us.

    Last year we didn’t light off fireworks at home because dad — me — was in bed all day, recovering from a life-threatening asthma attack the night before, so we made up for it this year by blowing up lots and lots of shit while I tended the Weber. Rest assured we adhered to strict safety rules, i,e., I kept my beer a safe distance from the fireworks.

    After supper I packed the Mrs. and the two brohirrim into the car and we drove to the fireworks display at a nearby county club. We had awesome seats too, right under all the big blasts. Then we drove home, blew up the remaining ordinance in the driveway, put the brohirrim to bed, and then the Mrs. and relaxed on the couch and killed a bottle of wine.

  • Ted Seeber

    I invited over a fellow Knight, new to our council and new to the country, to eat dinner with us and spend some time with my family. It was his first 4th of July- having recently immigrated from Ghana. We had some “safe” fireworks (mainly Snap-its and Poppers) and he played some games with my son. He had to leave before dark because he works early mornings in a factory making processed food for restaurants. Across the street, some kids were shooting fireworks over a fence into the park (illegal fireworks in Oregon, but at least they were shooting them horizontally, so technically within the law even though they were bottle rockets)- they must have made a smuggling run to Vancouver. Never did see any police handing out tickets this year, despite the fact that my neighborhood often has a plethora of illegal fireworks on the 4th.

  • Beccolina

    Fireworks were banned in our entire county (a very dry winter, followed by a very dry spring, and multiple wildfires raging). Thankfully, it seemed like everyone actually followed the ban, since there were no new fires reported last night. We did take the opportunity to explain Independence Day to the kids. We’re having our family BBQ tomorrow, when the men-folk aren’t working.
    My grandmother and other extended family live in the Everett/Seattle/Tacoma area, and I get a little homesick for them when ever you write about the area.

  • Veronica

    Pictures, or it didn’t happen!

    • Mark Shea

      Sadly, no pictures. Nobody thought of it!

      • Linebyline

        Went to the grandparents’. Ate burgers. Also cheap grocery-store bean dip. It was awesome.

        On the drive home, we heard (but I didn’t see) people trying to set the whole county on fire. I mean celebrating.

        • Linebyline

          funny. I thought this was going to go at the bottom of the thread. Oh well.

  • S. Murphy

    Had to spend the day driving (long story), but got to stop at Moore’s Creek battlefield in NC, and learn a bit about this battle, in Feb 1776, that helped give NC the confidence to entryst delegates to support independence and thus helped us toward the Declaration.
    Kind of cool, and possibly unique, in that it also has a monument to the Loyalists who died there “doing their duty as they saw it.”
    Also got to spend the evening with my old neighbors in Beaufort, SC and some of their friends- picnic food, firecrackers… Good stuff.

  • Mark R

    I had my gall bladder removed, but it wasn’t that bad. Little pain experienced as a result. I missed making all that OT on my job, though.